There’s Always a Catch

So y’all know that I’ve been complaining about my cell phone situation for a while now, but I finally got around to doing something about it.

Enter Virigin Mobile
I’ve long suspected that prepaid service was the best option for me, but I never realized that you could use smartphones on a prepaid plan (call me stupid – go ahead. Really.).  So when I discovered that $25/month at Virgin Mobile would get you unlimited text and data, and 300 minutes of voice, well that seemed like an obvious choice for me.  Not to mention cheap.

So what’s the catch?  There’s always a catch right?  Well one of the drawbacks is that you can only select from about a half-dozen phones, and you pay full-price for it.  I selected the Samsung Intercept:

I received it in the mail last Friday, and have been using it around the house via wi-fi. It’s worked great, and it makes me feel smart to have a phone with a touchscreen.

But I’ve also discovered the other drawback: Virgin Mobile can’t figure out how to port my number over from T-Mobile. So despite having a brand new telephone in my hands, and despite having paid my $25 for the month, I’m still using my old beat up phone because Virgin can’t figure out how to transfer the number. It’s very frustrating.

But here’s the funny part: I’ve called the help desk numerous times over the past week, and they keep assuring me that they’ve “escalated the problem,” which is their lingo for saying they’ve bumped it up to a higher department.  Each time they say that I want to shout, “No, B$*#!, I’m about to Escalate this F*%@!#* Problem!” …but I don’t… because, well.. that wouldn’t accomplish anything, I guess.  But I do think it would be funny. Also, it’s funny that using their corporate lingo, the first step to solving a problem is to “escalate” it.  Someone from Customer Satisfaction Dept. should have caught that one – it just doesn’t sound right.

5 comments to There’s Always a Catch

  • I hope you get it taken care of.

    "Escalation" is not just their corporate word, it's common in various call centers. What's not consistent is how effective "escalations" are. When I worked in a Dell call center, the Escalations team was more experienced than the normal techs, BUT you had to wait up to 24 hours to hear back from one of them. For some customers, this meant they were screwed either way.

  • @Apertome – yea 24 hours doesn't sound that great… but I'm coming up on a week with Virgin Mobile. It just feels so wrong to have to get a new number just because they can't figure something out. The frustrating part is that I have no idea if anyone's actively working on it, or if nobody is doing anything.

  • It's been a week and they can't figure it out? Rest assured no one is actively working on it.

  • Good luck with that one. I was once on the phone with some idiot about our non-existent Wells Fargo mortgage, and when I asked to speak to her supervisor, she said not to be so demanding! There's a reason these people make $25K a year.

    I prepay too, but I don't have a smartphone. I spend enough time at home within 50 feet of a computer to feel satisfied without one. BTW, if you text me, it costs me 25 cents for every text I send AND receive.

  • @Alex – yea. That's what I think, too. So now I either give up and get a new number, or wait indefinitely for them to fix a problem that they probably aren't even working on.

    Here's the thing: Do they really want me to send an email to every one of my contacts that says "I switched to Virgin and they don't know how to transfer numbers so here's my new number"??